NBA Hoops

2024 NBA Draft Lottery winners and losers: Pistons’ bad luck continues, Hawks overcome odds for No. 1 pick

2024 NBA Draft Lottery winners and losers: Pistons' bad luck continues, Hawks overcome odds for No. 1 pick

While fans of NBA playoff teams live and die with every bounce of the basketball during the month of May, fans of non-playoff teams live and die with every bounce of the ping pong balls. We need look no further than the emergence of Victor Wembanyama to see how landing the top pick in the NBA Draft can quickly change the fortunes of a franchise. On Sunday we found out which teams Lady Luck smiled upon during the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery.

In a massive shock, the Atlanta Hawks bucked overwhelming odds to land the No. 1 pick, followed by the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. Here is the full order:

1 Atlanta
2 Washington
3 Houston (via Brooklyn)
4 San Antonio
5 Detroit
6 Charlotte
7 Portland
8 San Antonio (via Toronto)
9 Memphis
10 Utah
11 Chicago
12 Oklahoma City (via Houston)
13 Sacramento
14 Portland (via Golden State)

While this isn’t considered to be the best draft class in NBA history, there are always diamonds to be found in the rough, and some teams will have a better chance at mining them than others. Let’s take a look at a few winners and losers from Sunday’s NBA Draft Lottery.

Three seasons. A combined 54 wins. And three No. 5 picks to show for it. For the third consecutive year — and second straight in which they put up the league’s worst record — the Pistons fell out of the top four in the lottery. This past season was particularly abysmal, finishing with a franchise-record 68 losses, including the longest single-season losing streak in NBA history at 28 games. Now, rather than popping champagne with a top-three pick in the draft, they’ve taken yet another L.

There is some good news here. With last year’s No. 5 pick the Pistons selected Ausar Thompson, who was their Lottery on-stage attendee Sunday and has already shown tremendous potential as a wing defender and transition scorer. Also, if there’s any draft to have missed the No. 1 pick, this is it. There is no consensus franchise-changing prospect in this class, so there’s a decent chance the player you select at No. 5 could be even better than the top four. Still, it would be nice to have a higher selection to assure you get the player that you want. Again that’s just not in the cards for Detroit, as they have now only won the lottery once (Cade Cunningham, 2021) since it was introduced in 1984.

Winner: Hawks

Already expected to shake things up…

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